Jan. 23—A tax preparer who admitted defrauding purchasers and the IRS out of greater than $330,000 in 2014 was sentenced Friday to 46 months in federal jail.
Donald Royce, former proprietor of Royce & Associates, was charged in 2017 with bilking purchasers, together with some who stay in Scranton, via a scheme that concerned submitting fraudulent tax returns to the IRS with out their information.
Federal prosecutors mentioned Royce, 46, of Orlando, Florida, gave purchasers a duplicate of their return, then made modifications that elevated the quantity of their refund. The IRS electronically wired the refund to Royce, who pocketed the surplus funds. Royce additionally suggested a shopper who owed the IRS cash to pay him and he would ahead the cost, however he as an alternative saved the cash.
The case towards Royce was delayed a number of years as a result of he claimed he suffered a head damage in 2013 that left him unable to know the costs or help his protection. U.S. District Decide Robert D. Mariani dominated in December 2021 that he was competent to face trial primarily based a neuropsychologist’s discovering that there was no medical foundation for Royce’s claims.
Royce pleaded responsible in March to 1 depend every of mail fraud and tax fraud. At sentencing, Mariani discovered that Royce’s intentional actions to feign incompetency amounted to obstruction of justice, which elevated his sentencing tips.
Along with the jail sentence, Mariani ordered Royce to pay $336,160 in restitution to greater than 40 victims and the IRS. He additionally ordered him to forfeit $155,812 in proceeds from his crimes.
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